Helping small businesses in developing communities

Here's how brewing and beverage company SABMiller is thinking creatively to give opportunities to small businesses in all corners of the world.

Around the world millions of families survive on incomes from very small businesses. They face daily challenges which creative thinking can help resolve. Many of these businesses are part of the value chain of SABMiller. For example, in Mozambique, cassava root is one of the most widely grown but least commercialised crops. The company introduced a truck that travels to rural areas and processes surplus cassava which is bought directly from subsistence farmers.

One such farmer says, ‘Previously, our cassava rotted and we were scraping the dried cassava and had no buyers. Now this project is bringing fresh cassava to the factory.’

Using this locally-sourced cassava in SABMiller’s beer has created new incomes for 500 farming families as well as improving yields and farming practices from farming to factory and distribution.

In Ghana, 70 per cent of jobs are created by small and medium-sized enterprises. Some of these include the printers, packaging suppliers and distributors that SABMiller works with. Supporting these businesses encourages them to grow and offers opportunities to the local community.

In Latin America, access to formal loans is a challenge for micro-retailers. Financial support helps nurture these local businesses but to prosper they need more, things like access to training and mentoring to enable them to grow. SABMiller can also use this opportunity to raise awareness among retailers to sell its products responsibly.

One business owner says, ‘I have attended around 12 training courses from which I gained a lot of advantages including sales, profits and customer service knowledge. Every experience we have had has been positive, not only for me and my business but also for the other small retailers.’

From farms to factory suppliers, truck drivers to family shops, small businesses bring vast benefits to the communities SABMiller operates in and that’s why the company is committed to supporting such communities on their journey to success.

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